My quest to find my ancestors

Unfortunately, it isn't possible to know in advance which one source will reveal your family's original location on the island.

Roots Ireland offers access to a unique database of more than 21 million Irish records

It would be great if it were, but it isn't. You may spread your net wide and not find it until your reach the last sources on your list, or you may find it in the first place you look. The only certainty it that you need to keep the focus on finding the name of a townland or, at the very least, a county. If you already know which county but not the townland , much of the advice below is still relevant but you should also follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Where to start? Where you start your research will depend on what you already know about your Irish ancestry. Before you go any further, answer a few questions. Have you fully exhausted the sources suggested on the Start Researching your family history page?

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Have you interviewed the older members of your family? Have you rummaged through old letters, newspaper clippings and momentos? If not, get cracking. There is no point going from one archive to another, nor flitting between genealogy databases when the information you seek is gathering dust in the attic or awaiting liberation from great aunt Ellen's head! Search in your ancestor's adopted country If your first steps have not identified a townland, you need to concentrate your efforts on the records of the country to which your ancestors emigrated see link below.

All manner of information about your immigrant ancestors will have been recorded and you should not limit your research to just your direct line. You may find that one of your ancestor's relatives left behind a record of his or her exact place of origin, even if your direct ancestor did not.

Find Your Ancestors at the Georgia Virtual Vaults

Top Toolkit Tip It is worth bearing in mind that when filling in official forms in his or her new country, your immigrant ancestor may have given the name of a civil parish, ecclesiastical parish, port or county of embarkation as his or her place of origin. As far as I'm aware, this was not done intentionally to upset their genealogist descendants!

Of course, if your many times great grandfather left the ancestral home in the early 18th century, he could now have several hundred descendents scattered about. Don't be side tracked by maths!

Our metaphysical need to know

It's perfectly possible that only one of his children was meticulous with their record keeping or passed on the detail of their Irish heritage. If you really want that detail, that nugget that will allow you to unravel your Irish ancestry, you may have quite a search ahead. The best places to look for that crucial piece of your Irish ancestry jigsaw are death certificates, immigration records and census returns. Newspaper reports or local histories can also be very helpful.

In addition, you can try the following sources, in any order that seems pertinent to your family: Civil registration: births, deaths and marriages Financial and tax records: held by banks, employers, insurers; accountant's notes; tax returns Death documentation: hospital admission details; coroner's report; death certificates; undertaker's records; gravestones Property and Land records: property deeds; repair or conservation grants Military records: draft cards, service records, pensions Immigration records: passenger lists; naturalisation declarations Newspapers: announcements of births, deaths, marriage, anniversaries; obituaries; news reports Occupational records: apprenticeships; professional qualifications; trade directories Probate and Administration: executor's comments; wills.

Look out for migration patterns Migration patterns can also be extremely informative for narrowing down the geographical origin of your Irish ancestry.

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Two types of migration pattern are common. The first is called Group Migration and describes a group of relatives or neighbours leaving Ireland and arriving in their new destination together.

Find Ancestors

Administrative land divisions In Ireland, genealogy sources are mostly recorded by locality so it is worth gaining an understanding of how the country is divided for administrative purposes such as civil registration, church registers etc. It may not be the most scintellating of subjects, but it could save you a lot of headache and fruitless searching as you continue your research into your Irish ancestry.

Hi can anyone help me find anyone with this name? I know it was shortend to Feve but im not sure from what? Or when. Any info would help in my quest to find my family history Thanks Colin.

Trying to find Feve - Find Ancestors - Boards - Genes Reunited

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